Did you know that ‘Knowledge is Power’? Of course, you do! Or why else would you spend your time reading this article, seeking information on Tamil proverbs? This is one heck of a knowledge-seeking activity.
Proverbs, in general, are a storehouse of immense wisdom passed down from generation to generation. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to liken them to a family heirloom. Though in the case of proverbs, they are for the benefit of the larger community, thus, can be regarded as community heirlooms. And in this article, we will present popular Tamil proverbs for you to profit on three fronts – learn the language through these Tamil proverbs, gain insight into Tamil culture, and increase your power by implementing those little nuggets of wisdom in your daily life. Read on, and let’s go over all those below!
Popular Tamil Proverbs
Tamil proverbs are like tiny packages of profound wisdom. In just a few words, they can encapsulate pages worth of insight and knowledge. For locals, these wise expressions are treasured like talismans, carrying the power to enrich their lives.
So why not dive into these storehouses of wisdom and discover the valuable lessons they hold? Share with us in the comments which proverb resonated with you the most or which one left you pondering for hours on end.
#1 A Hasty Marriage Is A Permanent Disappointment
Tamil proverb: Avacarak kalyāṇam nirantara maṉavaruttam (அவசரக் கல்யாணம் நிரந்தர மனவருத்தம்).
This Tamil proverb means that rushing into a marriage without proper consideration and preparation can lead to lifelong regrets and disappointments. It emphasizes the importance of taking the time to make a thoughtful and informed decision before entering into such a significant commitment.
#2 He Who Smears Mud On Others Smears More On Himself
Tamil proverb: Piṟar mītu cēṟu pūcupavaṉ taṉ mītu atikam pūcikkoḷvāṉ (பிறர் மீது சேறு பூசுபவன் தன் மீது அதிகம் பூசிக்கொள்வான்).
This Tamil proverb means that when someone tries to tarnish the reputation of others, they also end up damaging their own reputation in the process. It highlights the idea that spreading negativity and slander only leads to personal harm and loss of credibility.
#3 Don’t Ask What Is Boiling In Other Person’s Pot
Tamil proverb: Maṟṟavaṉ pāṉaiyil eṉṉa kotikkiṟatu eṉṟu vicārikkātē (மற்றவன் பானையில் என்ன கொதிக்கிறது என்று விசாரிக்காதே).
This Tamil proverb means that one should not be too curious or nosy about what others are doing or achieving. It suggests that instead of focusing on others, one should concentrate on their endeavors and goals to be successful.
#4 Curiosity Without Knowledge Is Fire Without Flame
Tamil proverb: Aṟivillāta ārvam cuṭarillāta neruppu (அறிவில்லாத ஆர்வம் சுடரில்லாத நெருப்பு).
Through this Tamil proverb, one learns that to succeed in life, mere ambition won’t do. Knowledge and skill set are important ingredients too.
#5 What Else Is As Free As Unsolicited Advice
Tamil proverb: Aṟivurai pōla ilavacam vēṟetu (அறிவுரை போல இலவசம் வேறெது).
This Tamil proverb means that giving unsolicited advice costs nothing, as it is easy to offer opinions and suggestions without considering the consequences or the impact on others.
#6 Experience Teaches Slowly And At The Cost Of Mistakes
Tamil proverb: Aṉupavam piḻaikaḷaic ceytapiṉ metuvākak kaṟpikkiṟatu (அனுபவம் பிழைகளைச் செய்தபின் மெதுவாகக் கற்பிக்கிறது).
This Tamil proverb means that learning from experience is a slow process, often involving making and learning from mistakes.
#7 The Needs Of The Body Are Endless, The Needs Of The Soul Are Few
Tamil proverb: Uṭaliṉ tēvaikaḷ aṉantam āṉmāviṉ tēvaiyō cilēva (உடலின் தேவைகள் அனந்தம் ஆன்மாவின் தேவையோ சிலேவ).
This proverb highlights that a person’s physical or material needs can be limitless, whereas spiritual or emotional needs are relatively few. It suggests that pursuing material possessions may not necessarily bring fulfillment and that finding contentment and inner peace often requires different priorities.
#8 One Feast, One House, One Mutual Happiness
Tamil proverb: Oru viruntu oru vīṭu oru nim’matiyāṉa makiḻcci (ஒரு விருந்து ஒரு வீடு ஒரு நிம்மதியான மகிழ்ச்சி).
This is one of the most relevant Tamil proverbs when it comes to reflecting the ethos of the Tamil culture, which is all about living together in harmony – from family to community.
#9 Digging A Well To Extinguish A House On Fire
Tamil proverb: Eriyum vīṭṭai aṇaikkak kiṇaṟu tōṇṭuvatu pōla (எரியும் வீட்டை அணைக்கக் கிணறு தோண்டுவது போல).
This Tamil proverb describes an action that is unnecessary or counterproductive, much like digging a well to put out a house fire. It implies that the solution offered is irrelevant to the problem at hand and may even worsen things.
#10 Will The Glory Come To An Unlikely Talent
Tamil proverb: Vāyppillāta tiṟamaikku varumā perumai? (வாய்ப்பில்லாத திறமைக்கு வருமா பெருமை).
This Tamil saying states that ability is of little account without opportunity.
#11 Rule Youth Well And Age Will Rule Itself
Tamil proverb: Vālipattai naṉku āṇṭāl vayōtikam tāṉē āḷum (வாலிபத்தை நன்கு ஆண்டால் வயோதிகம் தானே ஆளும்).
This Tamil proverb emphasizes the importance of leading a disciplined and responsible life in youth, which will result in a successful and fulfilling old age. It suggests that making the right choices and developing good habits early can lead to a better future.
#12 The Post Of Honour Is A Post Of Danger
Tamil proverb: Kauravap pataviyil āpattu atikam (கௌரவப் பதவியில் ஆபத்து அதிகம்).
In English translation, this proverb means that a position of honor carries a lot of risks too.
#13 Small In Body, Big In Mind
Tamil proverb: Uṭal ciṟiyarāyiṉum maṉam periyar (உடல் சிறியராயினும் மனம் பெரியர்).
By translation, it says that even a tiny or small body often harbors a great soul.
#14 Lies Spread Via Post
Tamil proverb: Poykaḷ viraivāy paravum (பொய்கள் விரைவாய் பரவும்).
The English translation of this proverb means that lies always spread quickly like wildfire. Though in the pre-internet era, the word used to convey the same was ‘post.’
#15 Knowledge Comes, But Wisdom Endures
Tamil proverb: Aṟivu varukiṟatu āṉāl ñāṉam nīṭittu niṟkiṟatu (அறிவு வருகிறது ஆனால் ஞானம் நீடித்து நிற்கிறது).
This is a perfect example to illustrate how even knowledge passed down or assimilated from the environment often pales in comparison to one’s inherent wisdom.
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